11 Feb 2017 (Part 1), News Analysis, for UPSC & Other Exams,...

11 Feb 2017 (Part 1), News Analysis, for UPSC & Other Exams, by Dr Ashok Dhamija


Karnataka amendment bill to legalise bull-racing sport ‘Kambala’

  • Karnataka government has tabled an amendment bill in the Assembly to legalise Kambala, the traditional buffalo race held in the coastal districts.
  • The popular rural sport and the bullock cart races are kept outside the purview of the proposed law dealing with the prevention of cruelty to animals considering their “traditional nature.”
  • Karnataka high court had earlier banned the Kambala through an interim order in November in a petition filed by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
  • This led to mass protests in Karnataka, more so after Tamil Nadu passed a bill to allow Jallikattu, a traditional bull-taming sport, circumventing supreme court ban.
  • Now, Karnataka government has tabled the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2017.
  • This bill seeks to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, in its application to Karnataka.
  • PETA has criticised the move saying Kambala causes cruelty to animals.
  • What about the assent of the President, since the above Act is a Parliamentary Act?

From 2018, single test for engineering across India

  • Admission to all engineering colleges in India will be done through a single entrance examination from 2018, Central Govt (HRD Ministry) has declared.
  • It does away with multiple engineering entrance tests conducted by central agencies, state governments and private institutions.
  • However, for admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the JEE-Advanced will have to be cleared after taking this single engineering entrance exam.
  • This single test for engineering, as well as architecture courses, will be on lines of the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (NEET), a single all-India test for entry to medical and dental colleges launched in 2016.
  • The aim is to make the process more transparent, standardised, and free of corruption and commercialisation.
  • India has more than 3,300 approved engineering colleges, with an annual intake of about 16 lakh students. But only about half of the seats are filled.

Harsh punitive action against Shell Companies

  • Government is planning harsh punitive action against deviant Shell Companies, including:
    • freezing of Bank Accounts,
    • striking off the names of dormant companies,
    • invocation of Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016.
  • This is to prevent their misuse for money laundering and tax-evasion, especially in context of unearthing black money post demonetization.
  • There are about 15 lakh registered companies in India.
  • Only 6 lakh companies file their Annual Return.
  • This means that large number of these companies may be indulging in financial irregularities.
  • In a small sample analysis, it has been found that Rs. 1,238 crore cash has been deposited in these entities during November-December period (demonetisation).
  • A Task Force with members from various regulatory Ministries and Enforcement Agencies has been set-up to monitor actions taken against deviant shell companies by various agencies.

What is a Shell Company

  • A company which does not conduct any operations and indulges in money laundering.

[Money laundering: the concealment of the origins of illegally obtained money, typically by means of transfers involving foreign banks or legitimate businesses.]

  • ‘Shell Companies’ are characterized by:
    • nominal paid-up capital,
    • high reserves & surplus on account of receipt of high share premium,
    • investment in unlisted companies,
    • no dividend income,
    • high cash in hand,
    • private companies as majority shareholders,
    • low turnover & operating income,
    • nominal expenses,
    • nominal statutory payments & stock in trade,
    • minimum Fixed Asset.

IAS officer Ajay Tyagi is Sebi chief for 5 years

  • Senior IAS officer Ajay Tyagi has been appointed as Chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to succeed U.K. Sinha, whose extended tenure ends on March 1, 2017.
  • Tyagi will be SEBI chief for a period of 5 years.
  • He is a 1984 batch IAS officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre.
  • He is at present Additional Secretary (Investment) in the Department of Economic Affairs and handles capital markets, among others.
  • His appointment was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • K. Sinha, a 1976 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, had assumed office as SEBI chairman on February 18, 2011 and his tenure was extended twice.

Virat Kohli surpasses Bradman and Rahul Dravid

  • Indian captain Virat Kohli has surpassed the legendary Sir Donald Bradman and Rahul Dravid by becoming the first batsman in cricket history to score double hundreds in four successive Test series.
  • Kohli’s double hundreds came in the series against the West Indies, New Zealand, England and now Bangladesh.
  • Bradman and Dravid had achieved the feat in three successive series.

World’s Oldest Working Steam Engine ‘Fairy Queen’

  • The ‘Fairy Queen’, the oldest surviving working steam engine in the world will haul a heritage train from Delhi to Rewari, after a gap of 5 years.
  • This train will run between Delhi Cantt. Station and Rewari from 11th February 2017 for a single day trip.
  • This locomotive was constructed by Kitson, Thompson and Hewitson at Leeds, in England, in 1855, and reached Calcutta in the same year.
  • So, it is 162 years old!!!

Women’s quota takes centre stage

  • The National Women’s Parliament (NWP), a three-day event being organised by the Andhra Pradesh Assembly with the theme “Empowering women — strengthening democracy” began at the Pavitra Sangamam (confluence of Godavari and Krishna rivers), near Vijaywada, on 10 Feb 2017.
  • Over 10,000 women delegates, including MPs, MLAs and those who have excelled in different walks of life from across the country and abroad, are attending the conclave.
  • The Women’s Reservation Bill occupied centre stage. This is to provide for reservation of one-third seats in the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies for women.
  • The Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha in 2010 but it lapsed following the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha.
  • Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu supported this bill.
  • Venkaiah Naidu said that once NDA gets majority in the Rajya Sabha, it will get the Women’s Reservation Bill passed in the Parliament.
  • Main hurdle – reservation within reservation: give caste reservation within women reservation.

Relevant clauses of Article 107 of Constitution:

(3) A Bill pending in Parliament shall not lapse by reason of the prorogation of the Houses.

(4) A Bill pending in the Council of States which has not been passed by the House of the People shall not lapse on a dissolution of the House of the People.

(5) A Bill which is pending in the House of the People, or which having been passed by the House of the People is pending in the Council of States, shall, subject to the provisions of article 108, lapse on a dissolution of the House of the People.

Watch the YouTube video with full explanation:

This is Part 1 video that discusses and explains the current affairs topics appearing the newspapers and media (such as The Hindu, Indian Express, Economic Times, Press Information Bureau, etc.) of 11 February 2017.

This video is useful for the aspirants of the UPSC Civil Services Examination (for IAS, IPS, IFS, and Group-A Central Services). This lecture is also useful for aspirants of other competitive examinations, such as SSC, Bank PO, LIC, RBI Assistant, RBI Grade B, State Public Service Commission examinations like RPSC, UPPSC, MPSC, MPPSC, HCS, RAS, CLAT, Hotel Management entrance, BBA and several other examinations.

This video has been prepared by Dr. Ashok Dhamija, a former IPS.


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